The St Peter’s Spartans welcomed the Rottingdean Smugglers for the inaugural Natwest Under 19 Club T20 match to the Preston Park Velodrome on Sunday.
With coloured kits, pink balls, music, BBQ, open bar and Richard and Jordan sharing the PA duties a good crowd turned up to be entertained. The Spartans, led by Sam Wheatley won the toss and elected to bowl first.
The Smugglers got off to a flying start with captain Swinscoe hitting the first two balls of the innings for four off of Marco who shared the new ball and bowled through the first six powerplay overs with Harry. Marco made the first breakthrough with Matt Willard running round from cover to hold onto an acrobatic catch to dismiss Swinscoe who had started to look dangerous with 23 off 11 balls. The standard of the Spartans fielding and catching was high throughout with six catches held onto in total – two for Marco and one apiece Harrison, Myles and Daniel. The Smugglers at the end of the powerplay were 50 for 2 but the Spartans managed to put the brakes on their momentum taking wickets regularly and bowling very tidily. Harvey the standout performer just going for 12 runs from his 4 overs and taking 3 wickets. Harrison took two wickets with Matt and Rohan also chipping in with one each – Rohan also bowled the only maiden of the match. The Smugglers after such a strong start finished on 119 all out off 18.5 overs.
A quick shower delayed the start of the Spartans run chase but offered the spectators an opportunity to top themselves from the bar and head coach Duncan the chance to charge the iPad that was the source of his finely crafted playlist which was enjoyed by the crowd.
Sam and Aaron got the Spartans reply underway and did so with few alarm bells taking 12 off of the first over and moved at a steady rate throughout the powerplay without the loss of any wickets for 42 runs. They lost Aaron for 9 in the seventh over, but it was the skipper Sam who took the run chase by the scruff of the neck playing some crisp drives that raced away over what was now a greasy Preston Park outfield. The first maximum of the came in the eighth over of the Spartans reply as Sam pounced on a ball short of a length and dispatched it over square leg towards to grandstand, he eventually had to retire having reached his half century off 33 balls as the rules of the competition state. There was a little flurry of wickets but they came too late for the Smugglers to present any real danger. Harry hitting the winning runs off of a full toss over mid wicket for four, after Rohan, who obviously didn’t fancy running much and at one point left his partner Matt who went looking for a high five hanging, made a breezy 29 not out that included two sixes and three fours off of 18 balls. The Spartans reaching their target with four overs remaining and winning by five wickets in the end.
A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the club, with the BBQ and bar doing a roaring trade after the game and I encourage you all to try and get down and support the boys in the upcoming fixtures later on in the season. The next home came is on Tuesday 21st July with a 6pm start against the Hastings Young Guns…see you there!